Skip site chaos leads to £16,000 fi­nan­cial headache for coun­cil

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS -

The de­ci­sion to re­duce open­ing hours at skip cen­tres through­out An­gus in a bid to keep all seven cen­tres open has led to frus­tra­tion, tail­backs and chaotic scenes for res­i­dents. How­ever, it has also left coun­cil chiefs with a fi­nan­cial headache.

Coun­cil­lors were told waste bosses had to in­tro­duce ex­tended hours to cope with de­mand – a move which cost the au­thor­ity £16,000.

Ini­tially, the re­duc­tion in hours proved man­age­able, although it was noted the re­cy­cling cen­tres were busier due to the same amount of traf­fic vis­it­ing within a re­stricted time.

A re­port to the full coun­cil noted that as the gar­den waste sea­son got un­der way, the vol­ume of traf­fic in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly, and some of the re­cy­cling cen­tres had great dif­fi­culty cop­ing with de­mand.

This led to ex­ten­sive queues at open­ing times, sites be­ing closed more fre­quently to empty con­tain­ers, and sites clos­ing early at week­ends be­cause there were in­suf­fi­cient re­sources to ser­vice them.

Pho­to­graphs of tail­backs from re­cy­cling cen­tres which at times stretched along nearby roads ap­peared across so­cial me­dia, with com­plaints from elected mem­bers that the re­cy­cling regime was fail­ing.

The is­sue placed an enor­mous strain on re­cy­cling cen­tre staff who strug­gled to man­age the con­ges­tion at the same time as ful­fill­ing their nor­mal du­ties, leav­ing se­nior coun­cil of­fi­cers to make an op­er­a­tional de­ci­sion to in­tro­duce an ad­di­tional two hours of open­ing at all cen­tres ex­cept Ar­broath – on health and safety grounds.

The de­ci­sion brought with it a bill for £16,000, which was ques­tioned by SNP deputy leader, coun­cil­lor Bill Duff, who noted that the de­ci­sion to re­tain all seven sites had al­ready cost £82,000 from un­com­mit­ted re­serves.

He also asked if the mem­ber/ of­fi­cer group which had pre­vi­ously ex­am­ined the is­sue would re­sume over the sum­mer.

Coun­cil of­fi­cers said they would re­spond to his ques­tions in due course.

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